Elvira Landscaping / Marginal cost / communication
The work done by Elvira Landscaping is not as professional looking as the work done at our former home by Blue Ridge Landscaping who was unavailable and now doing primarily commercial work. However, it is satisfactory. But I would never use Elvira Landscaping again, mainly because of price and poor communication. For example:
1) Of course they wanted the $5800 deposit immediately, after which I didn't hear from them for almost a month. When I called to inquire, there were mutterings about a mixup and then started the next day. They commented about the amount of rain causing scheduling issues, but good customer service would dictate that they call and keep a customer updated.
2) One to three guys showed up on most days, but we were never sure when or if they were coming. Because the project seemed to drag on, it was necessary for us to carry on with our own commitments. So a couple of times, I was not there when they needed to ask a question and needed to rush home from where I was.
3) Communications with the office manager were by e-mail. Almost every time, he/she forgot to send me an attachment (copy of the proposal initially); later on, copies that I could not open (instructions for plant care). In response to my complaint about the dwarf Japanese maple referenced below, I was told he/she would share my comments with the owner, Ed. I never got a call back--only another bill.
4) There had been leftover block at the conclusion of the work, but before the cleanup crew came (there is still gravel in the yard and
cement run-off killing grass). Where they added dirt and seed along the new walkway, I have had a wonderful crop of unsightly weeds. At cleanup, they took the block which I figure we paid for. Regardless, when I inquired about it, there was no response.
5) At the last minute we decided to add a dwarf Japanese maple for which I was billed $349.00 (we had already paid $11, 979 at this point). While I had agreed for them to put in the dwarf Japanese maple, I was not informed ahead of time of the cost. After I asked if they had to go to Japan to get it, they sent me a proposal for the tree which I had neither seen nor signed before it was planted.
I take partial responsibility for the situation because I failed to get multiple estimates. I feel any decent landscaper could have done the
work, so I should have gotten estimates. While we had paid $15, 000 for landscaping at our former home (about five years ago), the work was far more extensive and the end result far more professional, attractive, and worth the money.